|Very French Gangsters|
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I think I'd be a great divorced person.
We've been living separately for almost 2 months. Sometimes he comes for dinner and to hang out with the kids. He takes the dogs for a run and picks up poo. We talk about the logistics of life. Violin lessons, soccer games and he shares secrets on how to run the jimmy-rigged weed-whacker. When I work, he takes care of the kids. When I get home, he leaves. Life isn't too bad right now. We are living our lives separate but together. It's nice. Surprisingly we're pretty good at this co-parenting thing.
I'm not in a severe hurry but divorce is a very real option. I'm take my sweet time making decisions. For now, this separation is a nice transition into what lies ahead.
Of course, It's awful to have to explain to my 9-year old that Dad's sick-in-the-head that's why he can't live with us right now. She kinda giggles. That's as benign an explanation as I can come up with. She says she's gonna pray for Dad everyday so he will get better. I have no doubt God will hear her. She's as pure and lovely as little girls come. I love her and feel so weak I can't protect her from this pain.
It's her birthday. She was excited as I combed and curled her hair, "Is Dad coming?"
"He can't wait to see you. He'll meet us there," I say.
It's so strange. We pull into the parking lot of our daughters favorite restaurant at the same time. Stepping out of the car I hear his truck door slam shut. The feeling is surreal. I see him all dressed up, nice shirt and jeans, hair styled...it's bizarre to think he didn't get dressed in our bathroom and I had no clue what he was going to wear or how he was going to smell. It's in slow-mo as my daughter runs to his arms for a hug and I mull over thoughts of our separation.
We eat, we laugh, we remember the fantastic details of her birth and how she was born at 12:01 midnight exactly. We re-tell how her father was so excited to have a child. He knew in his heart that the baby was going to be a girl. He was so certain, in fact, that he bought out every baby retailer in town purchasing all things pink. Pink dresses, pink shoes, pink diaper covers, pink swim suits, pink bedding, pink teddy bears,pink, pink, pink. Before I was 3months pregnant her nursery was the site of a pink explosion! We laugh some more. Especially since now, our little tomboy despises pink. Each of us taking hold of her hand we walk across the complex to the movie theater. Sitting on opposite sides sandwiching her in the middle, we share popcorn and Sour Patch Kids.
The movie ends, credits roll down the screen and we sit there in silence not moving. People file past us, through the isles and down the stairs out the door. I silently wonder how many of these families are being threatened by poor choices? Is anyone else here feeling pain? I study their faces.
She tells us how great the show was and how awesome it was we could go together, "Thanks so much Mom and Dad! This is the best birthday ever!"
Moseying out to the parking lot, we say goodnight. Hand in hand my daughter and I walk toward our car. As I turn to wave good-bye, he's just standing there in the middle of the road, lost, alone, defeated. I can't help but think how awful it must feel to be him.